Tag Archives: logic stage

Logic: Ancient History

I had a very difficult time finding the right balance of history resources and literature. I liked so many different packages, including but not limited to Beautiful Feet, Sonlight, Winter’s Promise, Mystery of History, Story of the World, and Veritas Press.  The end result became a mix and match of all of these things.

Let me preface this by saying, I neither subscribe to the old earth or the young earth theory.  I find it irrelevant.  Yes, I am Christian, but the age of the earth has nothing to do with whether or not I accept that my divine father created this world and all that is in it.  I used resources that were weighted for both young and old.  This is the logic stage of learning.  I wanted to encourage and teach my child to question, read, and infer.  I wanted an opinion to form and a decision to be made with all subject matter in hand.  This is but one content area that I find necessitates providing information for controversial topics.  In addition, to further continue and promote this growth, I use both Christian and secular, or independent, resources.  To me, the logic stage is more than knowledge, and this is a different form of mental growth.  Albeit, many of the topics or information have grown to include much more than the usual fact base provided during the grammar stage, but nonetheless, my goal is to let my child question, make connections, form opinions, and understand context.

With that said, I have provided a link to my first quarter plan.  You notice that it is centered on the Mystery of History, volume one.  As my husband and I considered the best way to approach ancient history, we decided that an approach that incorporated the Bible suited our design the best.  I have added in secular reading and literature resources where content is addressed.

Lastly, I have planned for ancient history to be completed in four quarters.  The duration is not the typical 36-week plan.  Instead, it is meant to be covered in a full year.  You may find that ancient history may last a year and a half.  I do not place constraints on learning.  We deviate far too often to discover or learn as interest desires.  I believe this is where the Charlotte-Mason method finds itself appearing in our social studies plans.  Otherwise, I try to stick to a more classical approach, but it is not a pure approach at all.

Download Ancient History Logic Stage Quarter One

Please add your comments!  I would like to encourage you to help me develop this plan for next fall.  Have you found better or more applicable resources that are well-suited for this early logic stage social studies plan?  What literature are you reading?  Please provide your reviews.  I am struggling to read everything now!

I find that I cannot leave this schedule along.  I have added suggestions from Netflix and PBS, to name but two.  Feel free to suggest other videos or provide commentary.


Ancient History Copywork


Greek Mythology Scavenger Hunt (Task Cards and Key)

Ancient History Literature List

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What is the logic stage?

When you feel that a significant knowledge foundation has been laid, you can begin to watch for the signs and make the move to more logic, or dialectic, learning.  Some things that you should consider is when your child begins to make connections, desires understanding, and has you prove why you know what you do.  When you are being challenged, outside of disrespect and misbehavior, the time has come to adapt the learning to the child.  You can declare that your child is officially in the logic stage.  Typically, the time to begin transitioning is around the fifth and sixth grade.

Logic stage, or dialectic stage, learning involves much more than fact delivery.  This is the time for understanding, questioning, and reasoning.  This is the stage when learning the facts is not enough.  This is the time for the mind to mature.

You will wake up one morning and be shocked.  I remember the first time thinking to myself, “Holy crap my child can think!”  Keep in mind that every mother will adore and dote over their child, believing that none other could be more perfect.  I had none of these illusions.  I was absolutely shocked that one of my children was able to communicate and argue with me.  Making this transition the second time, I was a little less shocked.  My second child to enter the logic stage was not the arguer.  She was the connector.  I remember her connecting events a few months ago to reason out why a particular war was inevitable.  Albeit, the facts and conclusion were somewhat remedial, but the idea that she could connect individual events to conclude that the conflict was inevitable was amazing to me nonetheless.  Sometimes it is a subtle event or conversation that will announce the change in their thinking.  Sometimes, as with my first, it is a loud shout!  I have haunting memories of some of those arguments.  She was … expressive?

We have reached understanding maturation.  The time has come to investigate, test, theorize, evaluate, analyze, and critique.  This is an excellent time to start to challenge their thinking too.  They will begin to form opinions, make connections, and discover relationships.  Now is the time to teach them to infer, determine cause and effect, and distinguish fact from opinion.

Your child needs tools.  During this stage it is very important to begin a formal/informal logic program. Visit www.criticalthinking.com …  Challenge your child.

Lastly, do not forget to teach your child how to ask questions and how to find understanding.


Logic Countdown

Logic Links

Red Herrings

Mind Benders

Critical Thinking I and II

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Narration vs. Summary

As I am fond of two methodologies, or styles, of education, I have discovered that the argument of narration versus summary is one that comes from using the terminology interchangeably and trying to make the distinction in the terms versus in the style.  Classical education methodology states to complete a narration, and Charlotte Mason methodology states to complete a narration.   On the surface, the appearance of both contain a reporting of what has been read.  This is quite a simplistic task, on the surface.  However, there is so much more involved when adding narration or summary to your plan as it relates to either methodology.

I will pause for a moment.  Let’s define the two.  In the terminology, both are different. A summary is words that provide a brief description. A narration is words that tell a story.  Again, the definition is not what matters.  The purpose of the summary or narration is where the difference is observed.

For a classical education, the child is asked to narrate.  In the beginning, the narration is oral, and the parent writes the words to paper.  The child tells the story of what they have heard or read.  In the classical model, we teach the child to take ideas and put them into words, and we teach the child to take the words and put them onto paper.  Making these connections are essential.   The focus is written communication.  This style wants to build the child’s ability to organize their thoughts and prepare them to write.

The Charlotte Mason education asks the child to narrate as well.  Often, it is referred to as a summary.   Keep in mind that a summary is a narration.  The purpose is to have the child tell, in their own words, what they have read or heard. Charlotte Mason says that the child should be discouraged from repeating the words of the text and encouraged to narrate in their own words.  The words should be original.  A child should be encouraged to insert their opinion and to state their mental connections.  To a Charlotte-Mason educator, a narration can take on many forms, but it begins in the same way – oral narration.  However, these forms include drawing, acting, building, and creating.   In this style, narration is looked upon as an art form too.

Both methods are a book-filled education.  Neither is reliant on using a textbook.  Neither method trades the book for a lecture, as is common in a standard public education.  Whether the book is read independently by the child or is read aloud to the child is of no consequence.  Both educational styles want the child to deal directly with the source.  For each method, a narration of a selection, or episode, is required.

What makes the narrations different are the child and the method.  When a child narrates, the material is chosen by the child.  What is included or omitted is at the discretion of the narrator, the child.  The child may place the emphasis where s/he chooses.  Using narration in this manner will let you, the educator or parent, know what your child knows about any given topic.  I believe that most classical guides, or plans, will encourage you to prompt the child’s narration through questioning and guide the narration in the same manner.  With Charlotte Mason, this is not so.  Charlotte Mason states not to explain, question, relate, or reread a passage.

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